Tor.com content by

Michele Reznik

King of the Nerds Tells Us There’s Only One Way To Be the Best Nerd

As swiftly as it came to our TV screens, TBS’ reality show King of the Nerds is over, with a second season already in the works. When we saw the trailer we were enraged, watching the pilot felt like a near-180, and now that the first season has concluded with one victor crowned King of the Nerds… we can finally say, “Yeah, it was OK.”

Our final analysis is a tepid one because the finale really drove home where King of the Nerds falls short. Here a reality show took eleven unique—if socially awkward—personalities, got us to root for them, and then knocked them off one by one, ultimately claiming that ten of the eleven weren’t “ideal” nerds. What a rollercoaster of feels, guys.

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Open Mouth, Insert Foot: TBS’ King of the Nerds Surprisingly FTW!

Hendrik: “You and I, everyone else on this planet, has already won King of the Nerds.”

Here’s the thing about marketing: It can completely alienate an audience before a product has a chance to win them over, so bear with us as we say “OK. WE TAKE IT BACK.” Geeky reality show King of the Nerds is actually quite likeable. Spoilers for the first episode.

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Why Geek Reality Show King of the Nerds Incites All Caps Rage

Even though it isn’t brand new, we were still appalled to return from the holidays to discover TBS’ new reality show King of the Nerds. The plot: Eleven self-described “nerds” live in a house together a la MTV’s The Real World and compete in a series of challenges until one of them is deemed the ruler of them all.

We can’t actually figure out what the winner’s reward is, or how they’re defining “best nerd,” which reveals an inherent flaw: The show doesn’t seem to be about the competition at all. Instead, the trailer sets the tone of “let’s point and laugh at all these socially awkward weirdos.”

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